Lines and Shadows

(2 customer reviews)


Published 6th August 2023.

Preorder to receive an advance copy a month before publication.

SKU: 9781912665273 Categories: ,


Lines and Shadows – Sarah Bower

1960. The height of the Cold War. Maths prodigy Ginny Matlock is appointed to be the first woman computer at a secretive nuclear testing facility off the East Anglian coast. She quickly finds, in this landscape of endless skies and shifting shorelines, that nothing is what it seems. What is the terrible secret of Briar Cottage? What dark tale haunts the local pub? And who is the mysterious Artist with whom Ginny’s fate becomes entangled? As the Berlin Wall rises and nuclear Armageddon threatens in Cuba, can Ginny build a life for herself among so many mysteries or will the terrors of the age suck her under?

Sarah Bower’s brilliant novella blows the spy thriller genre to pieces and creates a feminist masterpiece from the rubble. A swirling mystery in which mathematical proof is always just out of reach. Lines and Shadows is the strange lovechild between Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent and John Le Carre.

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Join us to Launch Lines and Shadows

In Person launch

Thursday July 27th 2023, 6.30pm
National Centre for Writing, Norwich

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Online Launch

Sunday 6th August, 2023, 7pm

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Sarah Bower introduces Lines and Shadows



Praise for Lines and Shadows

A finely drawn confluence of watery Suffolk legend and the concrete realities of the Cold War era. With her trademark elegant, teasing prose and some lumiously visionary writing, it is a satisfyingly slow-burn delight, in the tradition of Susan Hill and M. R. James.’
Kate Worsley, author of She Rises (Winner of the HWA Debut Crown for Historical Fiction) and Foxash

‘A gripping, unsettling novel, where nothing is quite what it seems. Bower’s Suffolk is a wild and unforgiving place at the very edge of the Cold War, where everything might be swept away in a moment.’
Guinevere Glasfurd, Costa shortlisted author

Lines and Shadows is a rich beauty of a novella – part love story, part thriller, with an undertow of the uncanny.’
Heather Richardson, author of A Dress for Kathleen

‘A compelling, unsettling tale which employs the conventions of the spy thriller to draw the reader into a liminal zone where, in the shifting boundaries between sea and sky, past and present, seen and unseen, calculable and imaged, are destabilised and our assumptions about both genre and gender are challenged.’
Elizabeth Lewis Williams, author of Deception Island and Erebus

About the Author

Photo credit: Kate Griffin

Sarah Bower is the author of three previous novels and is also a short story writer and essayist. She is a lecturer in creative writing at the Open University where she is also a creative and critical writing PhD candidate. Sarah lived in Suffolk for twenty years and now lives in Norwich. She finds the bleak, shifting East Anglian coastline endlessly inspiring.







Lines and Shadows Details

Paperback ISBN: 9781912665273
Ebook ISBN: 9781912665280
Published by Story Machine
Publication Date: 06/08/2023
Extent: 148pp
Format: B Format with flaps and ebook
Jacket design: Natty Peterkin


Planet Positive Publishing

Story Machine is committed to putting the environment first. This book is printed using processes that are:

Planet Positive Printing means that our books are a little more expensive than they would otherwise be. We believe that this is a small price to pay for the future of our planet.

Additional information

Weight 215 kg
Dimensions 12.9 × 1.0 × 19.8 cm

2 reviews for Lines and Shadows

  1. Daryl Fraser

    Lines and Shadows gives Suffolk its very own mythical beast! Expect the unexpected when normality turns sinister and ordinary things become the subject of intrigue. Truths are buried deep in shadows, and lies are hidden in plain sight. Beguiling and bewitching, a tale for the imagination.

  2. Elizabeth Clack (verified owner)

    I couldn’t put Sarah’s incredibly pacy, immersive ‘Lines and Shadows’ down and breathlessly zipped through a first read. Sarah’s work exudes a Gothic, brooding mood, populated with brilliantly drawn cinematic characters. I’ve already enjoyed a second read of ‘Lines and Shadows’ and can’t wait to read more from this writer—superb and highly recommended.

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